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Weekends With Alex Witt

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Washington 15, Irs 10, Syria 9, Asbury Park 7, New York City 6, Steve Miller 5, The Irs 5, Alex Witt 5, Msnbc 5, Obama 5, Sandy 5, Ntsb 5, At&t 4, Nbc 4, Mr. Miller 4, Baltimore 4, Bashar Al Assad 4, Connecticut 4, D.c. 4, Perry 4,
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  MSNBC    Weekends With Alex Witt    News  News/Business. New.  

    May 18, 2013
    9:00 - 11:01am PDT  

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two commuter trains going opposite directions just outside of new york city collide at rush hour. we are live at the scene. more fallout from the irs controversy, calls for criminal charges and prison time. gun fire, chaos and a brazen jewel heist. what seems like something right out of the movies is playing out in real life at the cannes film festival. if you haven't bought your powerball ticket left you still have time to formulate the winning strategy for the $600 million prize tonight. hello, everyone.
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it is high noon in the east and welcome to "weekends with alex witt." investigators are on the scene of the commuter train collision an hour outside of new york city. about 700 passengers jarred when the metro north trains derailed and collided in connecticut. as many as 60 people injured, at least five of them critically. michelle franzen has the latest from bridgeport, connecticut. michelle, first up, what happened here? >> reporter: during the height of the commute as you mentioned those two trains packed with 301 train that was going eastbound and another that was westbound carrying another 400 passengers. what the ntsb has indicated in their preliminary investigation so far is that it appears that the eastbound train, that would be the train headed toward new york city has somehow derailed on the tracks back in the section. you are looking at the back part of that train and when it jumped the tracks the oncoming westbound train collided with that and obviously, the two sort
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of sheared off the sides and as they came to a stop, a lot of the tracks were also rolled up in their estimation of what happened and that impact, of course, injuring dozens of people. passengers in those moments were describing just how frantic and what a chaotic moment it was. >> there was this loud bang and crash and everyone was jolted forward. people fell out of their seats and things went dark and there was a loud skreefrping. >> it was pretty chaotic and out of control as far as what was going on. >> they smashed a window for us to get out. >> there was a loud bang and then you saw smoke, and you can smell electrical. >> all of a sudden we heard a boom, and the train jumped and it seemed like we were above, over our seat. >> of course, the ntsb just getting outside this morning, alex and working with local authorities here, but they are the lead investigators on this
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crash scene and they're just getting started. >> yeah. okay. you talk about injuries. do we have any updates? there were a number that were critically injured? how many are in the hospital? do we have an idea on those numbers? >> reporter: when we learned just how many people were injured there are about 60 people being treated at local hospitals and five of them were in critical condition. we've got an update today that at least three or four of those still remain in critical condition, one in serious, but the governor of connecticut also gave us an update and commended the first responders for their hard work. >> the vast majority of the injuries were treated at the hospital emergency rooms last night leading to a fairly quick releases after tests and that sort of thing was done. >> and the theme here, of course, from the governor as well as other officials that were here on site speaking that
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there were so many injury, but fortunately no one was killed and given the impact here it could have been a lot worse, in terms of the impact and also of the number of people that could have been injured given that there were nearly 700 people onboard. >> absolutely. we are thankful for that and rush hour may come monday morning and thank you very much, michelle. >> let's go now to a scary moment for passengers and crew. the pilot was forced to make a belly landing at new jersey's newark airport after the plane's mainlanding gear wouldn't extend. all passengers and crew were safely transported to the terminal with no injuries. the faa is investigating this incident. >> two front-page politics, just a day after the outgoing irs commissioner faced fierce questioning from a house panel. steve miller was forced to resign his post as acting director this week. on friday he faced republicans and democrats who demanded answers about why the irs targeted tea party groups seeking tax-exempt status.
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>> as acting commissioner i want to apologize on behalf of the internal revenue service for the mistakes that we made and the poor service we provided. i think that what happened here is that foolish mistakes were made by people trying to be more efficient in their workload selection. the listing described in the report while intolerable, was a mistake and not an act of partisanship. >> president obama is turning his focus away from the irs con tro verse tote economy. in his weekly address the president talks about his trip friday to baltimore where he met with factory workers, young children in a pre-k program and low-income families getting help from a community program. >> that's why i like getting out of the washington echo chamber whenever i can because too often our politics aren't focussed on the same things you are. working hard, supporting your family and supporting your community, making sure your kids have every chance in life. >> the president added he plans to visit more cities in the coming weeks with a focus on strengthening the middle class.
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a bit later, the open letter to republicans urging them to avoid bringing legislation to the floor. so who wants this and what's behind this? it's in strategy talk at the bottom of the hour. >> millions of americans are watching the skies for dangerous weather, tornado, strong winds and hail all possible across the plains and midwest today. a different storm system hit alabama friday. a possible tornado knocked down trees and damaged the roof of a store. nbc meteorologist dylan dreier is out there, it's scary stuff. >> today could be the start of a severe weather outbreak in the plains that will last all weekend long. we have issued by the storm prediction center this watch across the plains and that's an area where we are going see strong thunderstorms that could contain moderate hail and damaging winds, but in red there across parts of nebraska, western kansas and down into oklahoma, that's the area of concern especially later this evening where we could end up
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with some strong tornados, damaging winds and very large hail, perhaps up to two inches in diameter. it's all ahead of this cold front and out ahead of that front it is warm and extremely humid. you throw a cold front into the mix in that type of situation and there is a good chance of getting some strong storms. you could see, though, nothing on the map just yet. it should hold off until later this evening and we do have a couple of areas where we are still seeing pretty heavy downpours across minneapolis stretching in to northern wisconsin and to macon, georgia, where we had stronger storms and those are weakening right now. so our big withest threat today, kansas, nebraska and oklahoma and tomorrow that threat only moves into eastern nebraska, eastern kansas and eastern oklahoma. it's not going move out of the way too quickly and that is an area we'll be watching all weekend long. tonight, that's when we'll see the tornados in that area and tomorrow it's more like all afternoon and evening. so something to keep an eye on this weekend, for sure. >> thank you very much.
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>> you powerball mania sweeping the nation and it could swell is to historic figures. the jackpot's already at a jaw-dropping $600 million and it's rising. officials say it could reach $1 billion if no one wins tonight's drawing. he has predicted somebody's going to win and if it's him he won't be back tomorrow. >> we love that. >> look. big jackpot, big dreams and insanely long odds. let's break this down for our international viewers. the chances of trinidad and tobago, infinitely better, your chances of getting elected president of the united states, that's only one in ten million and you can probably get elected president today and get better odds than getting this lottery jackpot, but is that going to stop people from getting their
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chance and paying 2 bucks to win this huge, huge mountain of money? no way. 43 states, the district of columbia and the virgin islands. people are cueing up in lines just like this one trying to get their $2 chance at a big dream. we know what they want. let's listen to why they're doing it and what they hope they're going to get out of it. >> pay off college for a lot of kids. >> what the heck? everyone gets lucky once in a while with, right? >> reporter: well, we just talked to a lady a couple of minutes ago who said she's going buy a couple of houses and a jet, too. you're only going to take home a paltry $377 million if you win. so it's not that full $600 million. that will probably drive a lot of people away, right, alex? not as much as you'd hoped. >> you're just wrong with that. >> people will be coming for sure. >> i'm trying to keep my odds
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are. >> stay home. there's nothing to see here. come on, brian moore. thank you very much, we appreciate you keeping an eye on that for all of us from washington. >> there's only one way to win tonight's jackpot and with $600 million up for grab, our question is what would you do if you win. here's what some of you had to say. >> craig swanson said pay bill, 2, pay bills and set up a foundation to give the rest away. >> i would pay off my student loans and retire my mother. >> perry writes, hire an attorney to pick it up so the world doesn't know and see my financial planner after a confidentiality agreement was signed. that's smart. and joseph says pay off all debts and take care of my family and sit back and relax with the wife and kids for the rest of my die days. if you do win the lucky number, remember your favorite news
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>> the irs controversy is escalating. the house plans to hold more hearings next wreak on the controversy surrounding the irs for targeting tea party groups. outgoing irs commissioner steve miller faced the commission on friday. the treasury secretary will appear on a panel hearing on wednesday. joining me now white house reporter for "the washington post" david nabbing murrah and political reporter lauren fox, and with a welcome to the both of you, i'll begin with you, david. steve miller really got grilled on friday. let's take a look at one of those exchanges. here it is. >> do you not think that congress has the right to know all of the information that you knew? >> so, look -- >> congress was -- >> mr. miller, does this
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committee -- mr. miller, does this committee have the right to know the information that you knew? yes or no? >> this committee -- >> yes or no. >> this committee is always going to get that information. >> you testified before this committee, mr. miller and did not -- please. >> mr. miller -- >> okay. so the white house, david, how is it reacting to all this? >> they're doing it sort of two-tiered. on the one hand you have the white house trying to be aggressive and accepting sort of responsibility on this to the extent that they asked for the resignation of steven miller who did resign and installed the new director last week and then, you know, they're saying, the president said that i'm going to go ahead and direct jack lew, the treasury secretary for the recommendations and we'll do that. on the other front was get outside the beltway, go to baltimore and talk about jobs and try to get back to his agenda, but that's not going to be easy. congress will have a number more hearings and you'll see danny go out there and the problem with
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steven miller's testimony is you leave questions unanswered so it will be hard for the white house to get by, most notably, whose idea this was for the irs to go after conservative and tea party groups. that has not really been explained and until that is, this thing is going to keep going. >> there were a lot of questions that were repeated and he got a barrage of questions over and over again for which he did not have answers. >> lauren, former senior adviser to president obama, david axelrod, he spoke about the problems plaguing the administration and here's what he said. >> this will play out. we will come out of it it, and i don't think any of these things are going to have a lasting, defining impact. i think the danger of it is just that it eats up time and when you're in your second term, every day is precious, and trying to get some things done and when the town is spining itself on all of these faux
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scandal, it takes up time. >> it won't have a lasting and defining impact on the presidency. do you agree with david axelrod? >> i think what it does is it sucks time out of second term like david axelrod said. what this does is we have a lot of other important issues that the president would like to see capitol hill do including immigration reform. that's a huge issue. the president has said he'd like to go back to gun control issues. so i think what it does is it keeps a driss tractiistraction t hearin hearings. and there's been a lot of time cleaning up the mess. >> one of the things is democrats want to emphasize that this isn't necessarily politically motivated and that the tea party groups weren't targeted for that reason and for some reason it comes away that these groups were politically targeted and this was a partisan exercise, i think it will have a lasting impression on the obama administration. >> how distracting, david, do you think this may be for the
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second term and you mentioned earlier how the president was trying to refocus things on the middle class and went to baltimore and has more trips planned to go to cities and state emphasized on the middle class and the economy there. how much might this derail it? is it a matter of time being spent on these issues? >> the white house has said to us this week and a number of meetings with reporters, this is not taking up their time. of course, the media office is concerned about it because we're asking questions and behind the scenes the staff is engaged on these bigger issues that they talked about and they have staff, focused on that and there's work on the budget and those things will continue, but the truth is that a lot of this is driven by narrative and the more that this is out there and the more the president has trouble getting the narrative back on to the things he wants to talk about and that will continue to be what is the priority in the town and what's more interesting, too, is the president is coming off all of these lunches and dinners with the republicans to try to have this charm offensive and we have the heated rhetoric back and
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they'll be beating up on the administration and these hearings and this will set back any potential progress there, and it was already difficult. >> before all of this, we were talking about immigration, lauren, and i want to talk about that, so this bipartisan group of eight lawmakers in the house they hadden swooing legislation and this all happened on thursday late. no details offered and congressman luis gutierrez did send out the tweet. important breakthrough. very pleased things are moving forward. look, the difference is still in the senate, lauren, but is there a sense that immigration reform will get done? is that what we'll see going on, with the hearings and investigations in congress? >> i think one of the most promising aspects that we've seen, not only has the house bipartisan group working on this legislation for almost four years now come up with some kind of priorities and come up with an idea and principles that they agreed upon, if we looked at the
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judiciary hearings there have been a lot of republican amendments that were adopted, and the gang of eight members have voted together and the intent and heart of the bill is still intact, but also there's been some sweeteners added to get more republican support in the senate. if there is a lot more republican support that happens on the senate floor, then it's going to be very difficult for the house to reject immigration reform, and that's really where the sticking points remain. >> lauren fox and david naka nakamura. thanks, guys. >> the numbers that come up the most on powerball. that i needed to make one of those tech jobs mine. we teach cutting-edge engineering technology, computer information systems, networking and communications management -- the things that our students need to know in the world today. our country needs more college grads to help fill all the open technology jobs. to help meet that need, here at devry university, we're offering $4 million dollars in tech scholarships
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increase in just one year pf sales of paperback books continue to slide. the cities most adversely affected by the meltdown of the housing market are seeing the biggest increases in home prices. the new core logic case shiller home prices report that they jumped 7.3% last year. topping the latest cities of housing gains, phoenix is first with prices soaring almost 24% from the fourth quarter of 2011 to 2012. miami and las vegas are second and third respectively with increases of about 13.5% and now to master moneymakers on the new bloomberg billionaire's index and lo and behold there is a comeback kid on that list. it's not warren buffett who is worth almost $60 billion to rank his third richet. it's not carlos slim, the mexican telecom titan's wealth has slipped to $71.2 billion. the comeback kid, yeah, bill gates. he's worth $72.7 billion and it puts him atop the bloomberg
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billionaire's rankings for the first time since 2007. >> for my grandkids' education. >> education. education. >> a divorce. i would get a divorce from my wife. >> the dreams of winning power bawl and the jackpot of $600 million and the numbers that come up most often on power a ball. the fifth most frequent number is 16, then 32, 26, 20 and the most drawn number in powerball history is 41, and you know that extra ball that means millions for number two, there you go. there is the number, 16. so if you haven't played yet, why not try these? those are your number ones here on "weekends with alex witt." have a gooood nig. here youou go. you, , too. i'm goining to dream about t that steaka. i'i'm going toto dream about thatat tiramisu.u.
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arrived. passengers slid down the emergency slide as firefighters raced to put out that fire. there were no reports of any injuries. >> residents of danbury, texas, are being allowed to return for the first time since that powerful tornado. an ef-4 tornado hit late wednesday night killing six people. there you saw governor perry touring the area calling the devastation almost incomprehensible. today marks one year mark zuckerberg's facebook went public. it is infamous for trading glitches and insider sales. it's 30% lower than its opening price. >> in today's "strategy talk," agenda killer? the associated press phone tapping and the irs targeting have put the white house on the defensive and mired congress in hearings. so what does it mean for president obama's second term agenda? joining me now karen finney, msnbc host and former communications director and
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former press secretary under george w. bush. hello, you tw i'm glad to see you both. >> karen, i'll begin with you here. so the impact on all of this on the president's goals for the second term, how do you see it? a long-term impact or just short term. >> i think it's a mix. one of the things about each of these incidences, that we know a difference of the facts, than the beginning of the week particularly with regard to benghazi, so it is unclear what kind of long-term traction these things will have and look, what i think you will see the president continue to do and what he has to do is push forward with the agenda. the question becomes at some point americans are going to tire of the scandals. you have a third of congress now having investigations, and they're going to say, okay, but what have you done for me? how does it affect my life and that's the balance and that's what the president is driving towards. tony, what about democrats who had designs on retaking the house on 2014. how does all of this affect that? >> well, look, i think the
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chances of the democrats retaking the house are pretty remote and we'll see some republicans be very competitive and maybe pick up seats. in the senate they're looking at picking up seats. i think what this does is give democrats that we'll have a tough time in the midterms and it gives them an excuse for why things didn't go well and things were not going to go well for them in 2014, anyway. >> i think that is too early to predict that. i'm going to disagree with tony. there's so much that can happen and it was interesting to listen to newt gingrich, and i remember it well talking about how he overreached with regard to clinton and that actually, you would have thought republicans would have done well. so a lot of it depends on how the republicans in congress play out these various issues and how the white house responds and are they able to continue to push forward on the president's agenda. >> i don't put it past anybody to overreach and you're right
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about that andes of on the hill in the '90s and witnessed it first hand, but as i remieshd people, think about the worst debacle the republicans did, shutting down government in 1995 and all they did was go on and hold both houses of congress for decades after that. even though it's seen as a debacle and it didn't go well, it didn't necessarily translate into wins at the congressional level. >> so, karen, you're a communications expert. i'm durious, can you give the white house a grade in terms of the way they've been publicly handling these controversies. >> i would give them a b, and i'll tell you why. my inclination generally is to get out a little bit faster at the same time and tony and i were just talking about this. when you are in government and you are in charge of a lot of bureaucrats and you don't know what you don't know, it's hard to versus a campaign where you know what you know and you control the people underneath you in a much better way. i think what you saw the white house trying to do which was smart was to try to make sure
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that they had as much of the facts as possible when they pushed it out, releasing the emails on benghazi shifted the nature of the conversation and i think with regard to the irs and that's a little bit trickier simply because it plays into all of our own biases and fears about the irs and similarly with the a.p. investigation over those phone records. so i think they did a good job of trying to push out as much of the facts as they can to push back and try to change the nature of the conversation when they felt like they really had the information to do that. >> you know, tony, the tapping of the a.p. reporters and the last thing the camera was mentioning there. >> that has really angled a lot of journalists. what does it mean for the agency if the press can quasi turn on them. >> it makes the press room pretty difficult for jay carney on the daily briefings and communications for the press, but karen is right. the irs thing really does go to,
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you know, confirms a lot of fears that a lot of americans had about the way the bureaucracy works. it is going to be hard to deal with. the press are going to ask extra questions just to make sure they're understanding what they think they're hearing from the administration on a lot of things and the biggest problem for the white house is just the amount of time it takes to deal with these kinds of issues on a daily basis when they otherwise would be doing other things. i know they'll try to do that, but it's hard when you've lost control of the news cycle. >> that's exactly what david axelrod was saying, too. it's the time allotted for all of that? what i think they'll do is try to cauterize the 10% and try to have as minimal amount of their time on it as possible, but have a set group of people working on that so that the rest and the majority of the white house can continue to focus on again, trying to move the president's agenda forward. i think you will see more of that as we go forward.
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>> hey, tony, can i ask you about the open letter that the heritage foundation sent to cantor. they're asking republican leadership, hey, don't bring any legislation to the floor so the focus can stay on president obama and the trifecta storm he's dealing with. weren't these people sent to washington to lead? come on. >> i want to make a distinction between heritage and the republican party. obviously, as i've said here, and i think everybody knows i'm a very, very strong proponent of immigration reform. i think heritage in recent months is proving itself to be largely irrelevant in this debate and in questioning its abilities to be a thought leader in this really important topic, and i think they're going to lose people, and i think they probably are losing people. this is an issue that is going to move forward and i think that's where republican leaders are going to end up. >> it does play into the idea of the overreach may be coming. i do think there is a real
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danger for republicans on that and that letter plays right into it. >> we'll see if that happens and we'll chat about it if and when it does. all right. good to see you. jodi arias has planned to take the stand and what she needs to say to save herself from the death penalty. i had enough of feeling embarrassed about my skin. [ designer ] enough of just covering up my moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. i decided enough is enough. ♪ [ spa lady ] i started enbrel. it's clinically proven to provide clearer skin. [ rv guy ] enbrel may not work for everyone --
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in today's "office politics," nbc's chief foreign correspondent richard engel shares his thoughts on syria. it's an understatement to call the situation there complicated, but after spending years in the region i asked richard whether there are any good options to pursue in that very grave setting. >> no good options. the state is in collapse, and the government is trying to hold on. the government at this stage is not just a dictatorship which
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everyone says it is, it is defending a family's right to hold power. it is defending a religious sect's right to hold on to syria, and you have a -- an umbrella like opposition that is hard to pin down what it really wants. and it's a very complicated situation. in the -- almost 20 years i've been covering it, i can't think of a more complicated situation. every country in the region wants something different for syria. turkey wants to see bashar al assad go and wants to expand its sphere of influence into turkey so that its ottoman glory and ottoman past is projected into syrian provinces. that's what turkey's vision is. jordan just wants this war to end and it wants this situation across the region to calm down and for this problem to go away.
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saudi arabia and qatar want bashar al assad to go, but they don't necessarily want some of the factions that are fighting to win and the two countries are supporting different factions. israel certainly doesn't want the rebels to win. they've had a long, very comfortable relationship with bashar al assad, but doesn't like hezbollah and has attacked syria. it is -- it's a tough one. >> and speaking of the attack on syria by israel, how much does that change the equation? >> not much, actually, because what was funny is israel attacked what it says wasn't syria. it said we attacked hezbollah targets and if you remember, syria didn't make a huge fuss about it afterward. it seems pretty clear that the israelis went to the syrians and said look, our problem is not with you. we're not going to topple you bashar al assad. that's not in our interest.
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we're not going to do it. >> if the assad regime falls are the rebels capable of running the country? is there anybody there that can step in and do this? >> the question is which rebels and will they be able to hold on to the opposition? will all of the opposition listen to them? the short answer of your question is not yet. there's not a single group of rebels who can speak for all of the rebels and who can step in right now and run the country. there's an attempt to make a group like that in the united states and there's an attempt to make a consolidated leadership in the free syrian army under brigadier general madris, but it's a new attempt. >> is that attempt being supported if it's u.s. driven? is it supported in everyone else who has a stake in this? >> nope, it's not. so that's -- it's new and it's
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not universally supported. >> do you think that the u.s. has lost any kreds. >> of course it has. >> with north korea and iran because it has not been more aggressive with syria. >> more proactive i would say rather than more aggressive. of course, it has. around the world, and i talked to world leaders. i talked to foreign diplomats constantly. the idea that the president of the united states puts down a red line and then doesn't act, and puts down many benchmarks in front of the syrians saying, you know, this kind of action cannot stop. the syrian government has lost its legit ms.y. it's been over two years that there have been tough statements. i remember ambassador rice at the u.n. practically banging her fist on the table condemning the world for not doing more and for russia and others blocking u.n. action on syria, but then we don't follow up with anything and that -- that does -- that does make the u.s. look weaker in the eyes of many foreign
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leaders who i'm speaking to and that's what they tell me. >> tomorrow at this time, richard assesses the arab spring two years later and of course, considering his globe-trot be lifestyle he'll share his secrets for packing lightly while on the move. >> no, i wouldn't vote for him under any circumstances. >> well, anybody should be forgiven. >> there's a snapshot of opinion on anthony weiner's rumored run for new york city mayor. while he is hush-hush about it, and they caught wiener reported on the front of his apartment. is it a campaign ad? he's reportedly hired a campaign manager and several media sources say an announcement is coming next week. republican congresswoman michele bachmann is in campaign mode for 2014. she's launching a campaign ad last week, she won by won point and is likely to face the same challenger in the midterms. >> another casualty of the irs uproar, a softball game between
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the tax agency and john corn in's office was cancelled and it was supposed to happen last night and the irs pulled the plug. he is one of the most voeshgal ones about the irs' target practice. how two fans handed their brews. this fan offers a master class in multitasking. he manages to catch it without spilling a drop of his beverage. >> a fly ball came barreling toward them. one found out a pint of ale is no substitute for a whole section got a sun shower, oops!
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>> in just a now hour, the second leg of horse racing's triple crown gallops into baltimore for the 138th preakness stakes. orb drew first position and oddsmakers rate it as an even money favorite to snafrp the $1.4 million purse, and it will replace that thoroughbred to
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become the first triple crown winner in 35 years. coverage of the race begins today at 2:30 p.m. eastern on nbc sports network and it continues with the preakness stakes at 4:30 p.m. eastern on nbc. >> in today's "then and now," 33 years ago today a massive eruption in the northwest. here's heidi schulman reporting on the nbc nightly news back in 1980. >> at 8:32 this morning mt. st. helens shuddered with a strong earthquake. the explosion was heard more than 100 miles away. the volcano spewed out a huge cloud of ash, two miles across and up to ten miles in the air, and it opened up sending mud floes in the plank. officials were unable to get close enough to confirm the lava flow. >> today, mt. st. healen's is quiet. and the mt. st. helen's institute unveiled new website
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unveiling a detailed history of the mountain. it shows the landscape both before and after the eruption. you can see it at mshslc.org. the final phase of the jodi arias trial resumes on monday with jodi arias expected to take the stand. in the meantime jurors have all weekend to mull over gripping testimony for members of the victim's family this week that reduced the court to tears. arias is eligible to get the death penalty, but a jury must decide whether she gets life or death. joining me now is defense attorney and former prosecutor, and we're hoping karen desoto will join us and msnbc legal analyst kendall coffey is joining us. witha i hello to you, i know arias is expected to take the stand on monday. what do you think we are going to see? >> well, what the defense lawyers hope we will finally see is the truth from jodi arias which is what no one has seen in the courtroom up until now and somehow she's got to accomplish two things. she has to give some
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explanation, what happened that night, and it's not an easy thing for her to talk about, but what i think she would have to say is that she just went into a rage. she loved the guy. she never, ever wanted to end his life, but she just went into a rage because a degree of mental impairment that's not enough to get you not guilty by reason of insanity can be a factor in a death penalty case, so that's one critical thing that has to be established. after 18 days of watching her on the stand and the jury not believing her, it's not go going to be easy to find out she's not being truthful and the other thing she has to show is remorse and a deep sense of remorse that the jury believes. will the jury who believes that this person who appears to be incredible manipulative is coming forward with the truth, but that's the shot she's got to save her own life. >> okay. >> and just to be clear, is it only one person who has to -- and between giving her the death
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penalty or say life in prison without the possibility of parole? >> does she only have to convince one juror. that's the key point. it has to be unanimous to put her on death row and in a lot of cases there are horrible killings and, and a single hold out juror that says for whatever reason, i've got this person, and i'm not going to send her to death. that one holdout juror can save jodi arias. kendall, with your vast experience, what is the likelihood that she gets the death penalty? because that's a very, very controversial issue in this country. >> it's a controversial issue, and even though jurors that are on a death penalty case have already said to the court in jury selection that they are capable of imposing the death penalty, what it comes down to it it's not easy for anybody on that jury. you look at the savagery of the
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case, you look at the emotional anguish, the heartrending testimony that came forward from the family members of the victim this past week it's hard to see there isn't going to be a death penalty here, but with the one possibility of a holdout juror and the slim possibility that jodi arias can suddenly turn herself around and become somebody might believe there is a slim chance that she can save her own life this coming week. >> as a defense attorney are you looking that the jury pool? are you zero in on one or two potential jurors to try to hit them up to be the ones you will target with your testimony? >> that's exactly right. you study this jury throughout the trial, you know as much as possible about their background and you watch their reactions and you think by now that there's a message point, and there's a message that might help you get one or three jurors that you might have hope with, and that's the focus, for the defense council as they're
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preparing for this coming week. >> you mentioned hearing from travis alexander's family and it's the first time you will hear from them directly in the court. it reduced them to tears some of the victim impact statements. >> how much did he suffer? how much did he scream? what was he saying? what was the last thing he saw before his eyes closed? what was his final thought in his head? >> we lost our father on travis' 20th birthday, and our mother shortly after, and through this trying time in our lives, travis was the one that got us through the pain, and the hardship because he was our strength. >> so you listen to that, kendall, and you know that in addition to that which is really
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powerful. every time i hear it i still think how can they still endure this, but also in the courtroom there are these huge monitors that were showing pictures of travis alexander after he died. i mean, the crime scene. you know, look at what these jurors have to face. do you think there is a chance that she won't get the death penalty? >> not much. just listening to it now, alex, it was hard to listen to. didn't we all start to feel some of that pain and just a small way? and the prosecutor talked very -- he's done a magnificent job in this case, but he talked about the only thing that ended the horrible painfuller deal of travis alexander was death, and i think you're going to hear in his summation the statement that the only thing that can bring some comfort, some end to this ordeal to the family members of travis alexander will be a death
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sentence for jodi arias. >> bizarre interview that i know you're well aware of she gave immediately following her conviction where she told a local tv station that she wanted the death penalty and she wanted her freedom and that would be the fastest way for her to get it. does that at all get into the minds of the jurors that it would allow them to more easily give her the death penalty thinking that she really wants it? >> in this case, if the jury becomes aware of that, yes, because it is so hard to find sympathy for her anyway, and what a jury so struggling with is the difficult decision of passing a judgement that basically ends some other human's life no matter how horrible their crime, and this, in a way gives the jury comfort. not only that they're doing the right thing about justice for travis alexander and his family, but if this is a defendant who committed a savage crime who has her own death wish, then let it
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be so. >> all right. kendall coffey, many thanks. i appreciate it. >> thanks, alex. why california may be the reason the powerball jackpot is so big. all business purchases. so you can capture your receipts, and manage them online with jot, the latest app from ink. so you can spend less time doing paperwork. and more time doing paperwork. ink from chase. so you can. i always wanted to design a bike that honored those who serve our country. and geico gave me that opportunity. now naturally, we wanted it to be powerful, innovative and we built this bike as a tribute to those who are serving, those who have served
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fluticasone propionate and salmeterol inhalation powder. get your first prescription free and save on refills at advaircopd.com. >> crash probe. a train crash in the northeast putting the brakeses on rail traffic. the scourge of sexual assault in the military. the pentagon's top brass issues a new order to combat it and the boardwalk's back. it's a sign of hope seven months after super storm sandy. good day to all of you and welcome to "weekends with alex witt" it is 1:00 on the nose 1:00 in the east, 10:00 a.m. out west. let's get to "front page politics," president obama is trying to shift attention plaguing this administration. the president says politics is crowding the focus on the economy. >> more than anything, the american people may be
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optimistic about where we're headed as a nation especially after all we've been through during the past several years and that should encourage us all to work even harder on the issues that matter to you. >> the president's message comes just a day after the outgoing irs commissioner faced a grueling day on capitol hill. lawmakers in the house grilled steve miller for answers as to why the irs targeted tea party groups seek tax-exempt status. >> who is responsible for targeting these groups? >> so again, i'm going to take -- i'm going to take exception to the concept of targeting because it's a loaded term. the listing was done -- >> this was not a listing. you created a be on the lookout list. >> joining me now, senior washington correspondent for politico anna palmer and msnbc contributor to the grillo. let's look at what happened, perry, did the president try to change the focus of the three big controversy that plagued the
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administration with the irs, benghazi and the associated press and will this work? >> they're definitely talking about other issues. you saw this week they tried to move beyond these controversies and they released the talking points and emails to move on from that issue. he fired the irs commission tore move on from that issue and in terms of the a.p. they suggested they would support a media shield law as well and also the white house is talking more about the economy. the president met on wednesday with john mccain to talk about immigration and to keep that subject on the front burner as well. the white house's view is without the new evidence that the white house was somehow involved and the irs will at some point go away and the president keeps talking about other issues and immigration and the economy, and really focused on other things that eventually these things will move along and washington will go to where it was before. >> how about to what we saw with the irs commissioner outgoing now, steve miller and who got that intense scrutiny from the house members on friday. did you hear any bombshells to
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come from this hearing? >> there wasn't a lot that was new there. i think that it gave republicans in the house and an opportunity to really hit them hard in terms of what they knew, when they knew it and it was a real sign that this is not going, they're not going to let up on this at all. they said they want to have a lot of answers. there could be a criminal probe that is going start so certainly as much as obama ands had administration wants to move on from this, there's not any sense that conservatives will give them that opportunity. >> okay. let's check out this new article on the grillo. it focuses on the conservative heritage organization which sent that letter to house speaker john boehner and house majority leader eric cantor. this letter urges the gop to not bring forward any new legislation and focus these current controversies that are bombarding the obama administration. if republicans follow that advice, perry do they risk overplaying their hand here? i do think they risk that. remember a few years ago, alex
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when jim demint said if the republicans blocked the health care law it would be obama's waterloo. there are certain things in politics you believe may be true and this is among them. this moment owe basically says the republicans shouldn't try to pass any other bills in order to distract the fact that they want to hold hearings and attack obama as much as possible. that's not a good political strategy, i don't think, and it is not good to say that out loud because it makes you seem cynical because it is craven and cynical. >> there you have it right there, but in addition to what you just said, anna, congress' approval ratings are at an all-time low. they have the nickname of the do-nothing congress. the grillo article is pointing out a third of the republican-controlled committees in the house and they're spending their time investigating some facet of the obama administration. so what do you think is the potential risk and reward for republicans here? >> sure, as far as the reward, right? they're looking at 2014, 2016,
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trying to turn the narrative as demonizing democrats, but there is a definite worry, i think, among some republicans that you don't want to overreach. you don't want to be obstructionists and you can see the attack ad that democrats can say they've spent months on these hearings and in terms of the farm bill and some of the bills that have a big impact in terms of people's daily lives. also, perry, this week the republicans in the house they voted to repeal the president's affordable care act. this is not the first, second, third or the 37th time and one of your latest articles is titled why republicans are obsessed with repealing obama care. i've got this thing highlighted all throughout in yellow, but give me your conclusions here in this article. >> it was the first 36 times and surely the 37th will work and what with i get into is this is an issue that republican members of congress can all agree. the republicans are divided on
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immigration and guns, gay rights. they're not unifying a lot of issues, but this is one play where john boehner knows if i have an obama care vote, people will agree with me and will vote for it and what you heard was some of the new house republicans said the old guys have had 36 times to vote against this law. i want my turn to vote against it. this had no real governance purpose, but it did show symbolically, if you're a house republican you are really, really still against obama care. >> okay. we got that the first 36 times. >> i think so, too. >> anna palmer and perry bacon, jr., thank you. >> thanks. >> coming up in just a few minutes i'll speak with lloyd doggett from the house, ways and means committee. i'll get his reaction to yesterday's hearing testimony. investigators on the scene of the commuter train collision that happened an hour outside of new york city. as many as 60 people were injured, at least five of them critically and it happened when the metro north trains derailed and collided in connecticut.
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nbc's michelle franzen has the latest from bridgeport, connecticut. we've had this scene behind you all day. any idea when those trains behind you, those train cars will be taken off or at least able to move? >> reporter: it's going to be a while, alex.trains are going to put. the ntsb estimating it could ta take seven to ten days to finalize and complete the report on site. the trains will stay here. you're looking at the back half of the train headed eastbound toward new york city when the ntsb says it appears that that train derailed and an oncoming westbound train clipped that. they sort of smashed right next to each other and of course, we heard about those injuries and up to 60 people treated and most of them released. we've still got three that are in critical condition according to authorities, but in those frantic moments during and following that train derailment, passengers described the scene.
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there was this loud bang and crash and everyone was jolted forward. people fell out of their seats and things went dark and there was a loud screeching. >> it was pretty chaotic and pretty out of control as far as what was going on. >> they smashed a wind owe for us to get out. >> it was like a bang, a bow! a loud bang and then you saw smoke. you could smell electrical. >> all of a sudden we heard a boom, and the train had ump jed and it seemed like we was up out of our seat. >> reporter: and so you've heard from the passengers again. many people saying it is very fortunate no one was killed or more injuries with more than 700 people on the train. alex, as for the investigation, the ntsb is just getting started you are looking at everything you can imagine that they'll do. they already have some things to go on including the data recorder and the so-called black box. they said they've already retrieved that and sent it in to
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washington, d.c., for analysis. >> michelle, in terms of train service i know it's blocked between new york city and new haven for amtrak and metro north, as well. any idea, if come monday morning and these tracks and commuters will be up and running and ready for business and get to work? >> reporter: i think they are trying to put the framework in place to accommodate those thousands of people that commute back and forth. they'll be bussing people from points to points that can also pick up that service. the limited service will also be shut down between the bridgeport as well as the south norwalk, but it will be some time there encouraging people to seek alternate transportation. >> okay. nbc's michelle franzen, thanks so much. check out this incredible video showing a tornado that touched down in northern texas last night. that tornado made a direct hit on the house and damaged that one and no reports of injuries there. the violent storm comes two days after a monster tornado hit outside of dallas and that one
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claimed six lives and it wiped out entire neighborhoods. powerball mania is hitting a fever pitch and the jackpot is reaching historic numbers already at a whopping $600 million and they could create a $1 billion jackpot. nbc's brian moore is at a convenience store in washington, d.c. for us and good day to you, brian. you've got your winning ticket in hand and while you're still a reporter for the network, why don't you report on what you're hearing from people standing on the lines for the strategies in winning. >> i have to tell you, my faith has just been shaken. we found out that at this store alone, 5,000 tickets sold since 6:00 this evening. as our super photographer george weller points out, the odds of winning just in this store are not good so spin that out over a whole 43 states, the district of columbia and the virgin islands and yeah, the odds not so good.
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in fact, been in 175 million, your chances of getting elected president of the united states far, far better, but is that going to stop people? absolutely not. we've seen a steady line of people coming in today and plunking down two bucks and a lot more sometimes for that ultimate american dream. it's interesting to watch the style because some people come in confidently, powerball, power play and they know exactly what they want. one young lady came in and said have all of the lottery tickets been sold yet? so, alex, a lot of people, a lot of players, a lot of hopes and tonight if there is no single jackpot winner, it could roll over to $1 billion. >> incredible. >> that's the jackpot. >> even quickly, the 5,000 tickets or so sold in washington, d.c., what's it about california? what's behind the big surge there? >> reporter: well, they just got the whole powerball thing there so they're part of the gold rush. they are helping to push this
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jackpot up and really, these new huge jackpots are probably going to be the new normal. big, big, big, and long lines. >> okay. brian moore, many thanks. good luck. he questioned outgoing irs commissioner at yesterday's congressional hearing, but is he satisfied with the answers and the senior member of the house, ways and means committee joins me next. this is for real this time. step seven point two one two. verify and lock. command is locked. five seconds. three, two, one. standing by for capture. the most innovative software on the planet... dragon is captured. is connecting today's leading companies to places beyond it. siemens. answers.
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the irs is headed back to the witness table next week. on tuesday the senate finance committee will hold a hearing followed by the house oversight committee on wednesday when former commissioner douglas schulman will testify. yesterday's hearing before the house ways and means committee grew heated at times. >> when asked the truth, and you know the truth and you have a legal responsibility to inform
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others of the truth, but you don't share that truth, what i >> i always answer questions truthfully, mr. camp. >> joining me now is democratic congressman lloyd doggett member of the committee on ways and means which conducted that hearing. sir, thank you so much for joining us. i'm curious, did you learn any new information in the hearing yesterday. >> i did, alex. i learned quite a bit because we had, in addition to the acting commissioner the inspector general, a career republican with audit and investigation responsibilities, his report, his response to my questions demonstrated what a giant overreach this whole matter is. we had mr. camp lead off the hearing by talking about corruption at the irs, by saying it was rotten at the core and it was picking winners and losers and this career republican inspector general with all of that authority denied every one of the issues that mr. camp had
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advanced. there's no doubt something improper happened here, very improper. we have to be able to defend from discrimination the tea party to be just as wrong as it wants to be, but that's why that acting commissioner was removed, why some of the employees are being changed at the irs. there is no evidence of corruption or of administration involvement in the wrongful decisions that occurred there. >> i think it seems fairly fair to say that some of your colleagues were exasperated at times while questioning steven miller. how about you? were you satisfied with the information that he brought to the table? i'm not satisfied with the way that the irs performed here. i don't think they should have ever been involved in this nor am i satisfied with the fact that decades ago they changed a statute through a rule that as lawrence o'donnell, your colleague has so importantly noted, changed the social
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welfare nature of these organizations and said they didn't have to exclusively be involved in social welfare to get a tax subsidy. they just had to be primarily involved and that's opened the door to some organizations that are 49% or more political to use secret money, to have it be tax subsidized and that's part of the republican agenda also. they like this system of using tax-subsidized campaign contributions to influence elections and they also overreach in bringing in the whole question of health care as if 37 votes weren't enough. they're trying to use this incident to attack the role of the internal revenue service to assure that the affordable health care act is there for millions this next year. >> i'm curious, does -- does the irs have any friends right now, and what prompts this question is i know that you and your colleague representative lamar smith, both of you gentlemen from texas and you both -- you're polar op sits, shall we
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say ideologically speaking and yet, you've come together for this. we're seeing a lot of people that traditionally might not have the same philosophies, sort of having a pretty close agenda when it comes to this in analyzing this. is anyone sticking up for the irs? >> i'm critical of bureaucratic mismanagement any time that it occurs and certainly something like this, but, yes, i think we have a very efficient tax service. it's essential to assure the defense, the national security and the other vital government services and the many hard-working employees that were afraid to say that they even worked at the irs that i know. >> i think there are plenty of problems in the tax code and most of them created by congress in recent years approving one loophole after another, but what happened here was a specific political wrong that should never have occurred and we need
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an irs that's out there ensuring, acting in response, the crews for citizens for responsib responsible, ethical government to approve their petition and get them back to doing social welfare and public good and not involved in the political process. >> when i'm talking about criticism of the irs it's not as a whole, but relative to this particular entity of what we're discussing. >> exactly. >>speaker boehner about who's going jail? any chance that there will be criminal prosecutions? >> i think the justice department is exploring that. if there has been criminal misconduct, i want to see it fully prosecuted, but again, it seemed a little bit of an overreach before he had any of the facts that the speaker was already talking about criminality. it's a part of this whole effort to impair the affordable health care act, to demand that the tax
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code be changed in ways that will only put more of the burden on working families and to pursue a republican agenda, although as you've indicated today, the heritage society, or the heritage association call for the congress to do nothing, but focus on these alleged scandals, it would be pretty easy for speaker boehner to do that because the congress, the house at least has done next to nothing all day long. >> the ceo with the action for america. in all fairness, sir, i know you and others have accused the republican colleagues of exploiting the situation for political gains. if this had happened during the bush administration, wouldn't fellow democrats be going after the white house just as hard. >> the question is whether or not the facts justify it. who does not find any evidence of corruption or white house
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involvement. they need to move on to the next issue and not exploit and overreach in the way they have. they've done this before. i was there when newt gingrich shut down the government and when they attempted to impeach president obama and if they interfered with the right of the american people to get more access to health care and better treatment by this congress. i think they'll pay a big price for it. >> certainly the american people will pay a price. >> thank you very much, representative lloyd doggett, appreciate your time. >> it is a restaurant review that may be a good read on the economy and it's next. you hurt my feelings, todd. i did? when visa signature asked everybody what upgraded experiences really mattered... you suggested luxury car service instead of "strength training with patrick willis." come on todd! flap them chicken wings. [ grunts ] well, i travel a lot and umm...
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if you have the right tools. ryobi has over 50 products that work off of one 18 volt battery. and with new improved lithium and lithium plus batteries, you'll get a whole lot more done in less time. plus, they'll improve the performance of every 18 volt tool we've ever made. now that's getting more power for your money. ryobi one plus. the one system that delivers more. available only in one place. the home depot. now pick up a special buy lithium ion drill kit for just $79. now to the three big money headline, attitude adjustment, wining and dining and baggage. >> let's get to the latest consumer sentiment index report.
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i think we're becoming more confident in the economy? >> it certainly seems that way. the early readings are showing consumer confidence have blasted out and gone past economist expectations. we are hitting nearly six-year highs as far as how americans are feeling toward their personal finances and toward the economy. this is a really good, positive indicator for future economic growth for the rest of this year. i think we're seeing this for several reasons. the first is the housing market recovery that's starting to take place in certain parts of the country. we're also seeing the stock market rally, indexes like the s&p hitting record highs and gas prices have dropped compared to the last couple of years and actually, we're starting although we have a long way to go weir starting to see the jobs numbers tick up so all of this has americans feeling like they can loosen their belts. >> because of this are we seeing a turnaround for the restaurant industry? >> we are. we're seeing increased manifestation, and they hit their highest record levels and that was $46 billion that
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americans spent in restaurants and bars in april. that's according to early census numbers and we're not necessarily seeing more americans go out to eat and what we're seeing is the americans are spending more and they're spending more on things like liquor. more drinking. >> more drinking. for whatever the reason. what about the record year for baggage fees? is this the new norm? >> i don't think we're going to see airlines taking away those fees like reservation change fees, baggage fees, more leg room fees and we're not going to see those go anywhere any time soon in 2012, and airlines clocked 6 billion in the airline feeses and it's been beleaguered for the last couple of years and it helped return to profitability and if anything, we'll start to see the fees increase and united and delta, they are all talking about increasing. >> i don't know what they're charging us for that they're making us pay for. >> peanuts? >> we'll have to see.
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let us know when you find out. thanks so much. >> she's a courageous army veteran who survived a nightmare at the hand of fellow soldiers and she's fighting to make sure it doesn't happen to anyone else. i'll talk with her next. [ female announcer ] you walk into your laundry room and it just hits you! that nasty odor coming from your washer. say farewell to the smell
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to make shopping small, huge. this is what membership is. this is what membership does. welcome back to "weekends with alex witt." secretary of defense chuck hagel has now signed an order for the military to review and retrain everyone involved in the sexual assault prevention offices as well as recruiters. this follows thursday's meeting between president obama and senior military leaders as they work to end the shocking prevalence of sexual assault in the armed services. friday secretary hagel vowed to stop this crisis. >> this is going to take all of us. the problem will be solved here in this institution and we will -- we will fix it, and we will do everything that we need to do to fix it. there's not a military leader that was in that room that's not
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completely committed to that. >> joining me now with her story is former army specialist brigitte mccoy who was raped on her very first assignment shy of her 19th birthday. she faced sexual harassment that forced her to end her military career early. i am very glad for your time and i appreciate your honesty and your candor. my question to you is before you testified to the senate back in march, what did that meesh for you after being silenced for so many years? >> having that level of voice nationally was huge for me. i hadec intoen on some regional areas and people kind of knew my story, but to have the senators there to let me tell my story and to acknowledge that i had been telling the truth for across the board and what that also did is it gave other people the voice to speak up, as well. >> you said something in that hearing that really hit me hard.
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i'm going to have everyone take a listen to this. >> i have to say i no longer have any faith or hope that the military chain of command will consistently prosecute, convict, sentence and carry out the sentencing of sexual predators in uniform without abskonding justice somehow. >> two months later, has anything changed for you? >> no. not really as far as specifically, you know, perpetrators being charged and sentenced and doing jail time. i know that the military justice act that just came out with senator gillibrand and the improvement act. i know that that's something on the floor that's getting pushed through that that can take things out of the chain of command so that we can have better prosecution and as for as what i'm seeing on the news and i'm still seeing it as business as usual as it relates to the military. i do hear on the hill, you know, from senators and politicians
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and from the president and, you know, all of those people are saying it's got to change, but i still kind of feel like the military is, like, oh, we'll just let this kind of blow over. you know, within the chain. i don't see it changing as quickly as it should with all of the national attention. at this point we shouldn't have people walking away from prison time and going and being transferred to arizona. we shouldn't have people who are pandering and having the opportunity to prostitute our service members and still we are talking about what we're going to do with them. i mean, if this is a national security issue then we should handle it like it's a national security issue. those people should be out of the military within seconds. in my condition, i was -- i reported sexual harassment and i was out in three days, three or four days so i don't understand why it's taken so long. >> what's also interesting to me
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is there's an irony here, you have sexual abuse educators accused of committing some assaults. we have two incidents of that right now. it tells you how bad the problem is with 26,000 cases of abuse just this last year. does it start even in recruitment? is there something that needs to be changed there before people who are going to have a fred likz towards this? that they'll be able to get into the military? >> so one of the challenges i have with all of that is yes, i do believe that the recruiters as well should be carefully screened, but like i said, just because someone puts on a military uniform, just because they wear it doesn't mean that they're a service member. if they are a perpetrator, if they're a rapist or someone who sexually assaults, we shouldn't be considering them as service members and we shouldn't have this high regard for them as we do the service members who fight and serve honorably. they shouldn't have all of these rights and protections under the
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ucmj like the victims haven't had. so i think my challenge with it is that we still consider a rapist, someone who rapes another service member a service member. that goes against everything within the code. they should absolutely be stripped of their uniform and of their rank. it shouldn't be some discussion. it should be an absolute thing, and so, you know, i'm here talking to you about this, but it's just very frustrating to me because there's this conversation that continues to happen that, you know, we want to make sure that we're protecting everybody, but you're not protecting the victim. the only people -- >> you're only protecting the people who are breaking the law. so if you're going to only get six months in the brig or six months in -- in some type of, you know, hard duty, but in civilian sector, this will be a major crime and we're not taking it at that level and that's very frustrating to me and there is
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no reason that anybody would come forward. there's no financial remuneration for coming forward as a sexual assault survivor or a rape sur slivivosurvivor. you don't get any special consideration. on the contrary, if you're in the military, you get exited out of the military with a quickness. >> can i ask you, brigitte, if you can change one thing that might be the sccatalyst for overall change, where would you start? don't let rapists or anyone with sexual assault history in the military at all under any circumstances. >> okay. starting with recruitment and moving on from there. from army specialist brigitte mccoy, thank you so much. i appreciate your honesty here and your story. >> thank you for having me. >> you are so welcome. nearly 15 months after hurricane sandy devastated the shore, this is what the asbury park looks like more than six
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months after hurricane sandy toppled businesses and new jersey in the waterfront community. today's grand re-opening could be what this community needs to boost its economy just in time for the tourist system. >> andy johnson is joining us via skype. it's a good day for you guys in asbury park, and we are so glad you'll be back up and running and for those people unfamiliar with asbury park, talk about what today means to you and what you've been through. >> first of all, good morning and greetings from asbury park. today is a great day for us because it really marks our grand opening, our return in the asbury park boardwalk and we're definitely ready for summer just like everyone else at the jersey shore. >> it's a great thing. talk about what you think will be the key to revitalizing that community and what you plan to do to entice tourists to get there. >> you know, you can feel the buzz at the jersey shore.
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there is a lot of people that are coming this way. we've had a lot of outreach emails and telephone calls from people curious about the jersey shore. it's been a long six, seven months of reconstruction here. in asbury park we weren't hit as hard as many communities, but we took a strong purchase. we've been working hard and getting our businesses ready and we are definitely ready for what i believe will be the greatest summer at the jersey shore. >> the timing of hurricane sandy was terrible for you guys because it wasn't just a few years ago you were trying to get on track with new developments and i guess bring it updated, if you will, and then hurricane sandy hits. how much of a setback was that for you? >> well, you know, it was a setback for everyone. asbury park really did survive this economic, global crisis and we seem to be in some kind of bubble where downtown developed and our boardwalk was coming along and so sandy hitting us really did knock us for a loop,
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but we're the people of the jersey shore and you may book us down, but you're never going to knock us out and we are much stronger than any storm. >> well, we're glad to hear that and we believe you. so give me a few of the things tourists should know about to entice them to come there to asbury park. what is the thing you are most proud of that you're presenting on the boardwalk. i am right now at one of the greatest places on the boardwalk called cubic con, and we have boardwalks across the downtown area. asbury park is ready in terms of entertainment venues. we also have community block parties going on throughout the city today. so all over asbury park, it's a day of celebration. our community has come out and we're really celebrating the start of summer 2013. >> sounds like a party at asbury park. mayor, thank you for taking time out. good luck. >> we look forward to seeing you here. >> no worries, i'll get there.
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thanks. what's getting done on capitol hill with all of the distractions? we'll get the big three next. ♪ [ slap! ] [ male announcer ] your favorite foods fighting you? fight back fast with tums. calcium-rich tums starts working so fast you'll forget you had heartburn. ♪ tum tum tum tum tums are you flo? yes. is this the thing you gave my husband? well, yeah, yes. the "name your price" tool. you tell us the price you want to pay, and we give you a range of options to choose from. careful, though -- that kind of power can go to your head. that explains a lot. yo, buddy! i got this. gimme one, gimme one, gimme one! the power of the "name your price" tool. only from progressive. plays a key role throughout our lives. one a day men's 50+ is a complete multivitamin designed for men's health concerns as we age.
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the simplified purina one beyond. learn more about these wholesome ingredients at purinaone.com it's time for the big three in today's topics, irs backlash, immigration breakthrough and best week, worst week. let's bring in my big three panel. msnbc contributor, susan del%io. morris reid and citizen of politics patricia murph pep gym. good to see all three of you. let's go to the irs backlash. there'sa new article that says despite democratic fears, barack obama's agenda appear exaggerated after a week of cascading controversies, political triage by the party administration and party leaders in congress and lack of evidence to date of wrongdoing close to
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the oval office. if so, do you think republicans risk overplaying their hand here? >> well, the first question is is he overcoming this? no. the fact is that he does have three scanndals going on at the staple time. the irs is problematic because it goes to people's trust in government overall and the fact that he rdz about it in the paper like everyone else, that's disturbing to people because they expect the president to take responsibility of the federal government, so that's problematic but it's possible that the republicans overplay their hand and never overestimated the abilities of the republicans to blow it on something like this because it is certainly possible. they really need to let this play out because it is bad for the president and it will take a natural course, and they don't need to exploit it. >> i heard it said earlier today, susan, on the air that something should never be put into print or left in a voicemail. might this include this heritage action for america letter in
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h sa, come on republicans, don't put on new legislation out there, and let's just focus on banging this drum, if you will on capitol hill. >> there's an old saying, never say what you can write and never say what you can wink and this just should not have been put out there and it's fundamentally wrong and not a good idea. >> patricia of politico has this new article out today in which it previews a speech by louisiana governor bobby jindal who with says he will use a saturday speech to virginia republicans to target political organizations for scrutiny and be sent to prison. >> he's not the only one. we also heard speaker boehner echoing a similar sentiment and what do you think the chances are that we'll see someone go to jail? >> i think it's way too early to know if anybody can go to jail, but i do think it was note worth they this week the attorney general said that the fbi is going to investigate the irs, and investigate what happened there and see if there was any criminal wrong doing. even the administration is not
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dismissing the chance of criminality out of hand, but i do think this does play to the chances of republicans overreaching here. they don't need to call for people to go to prison just yet because people might end up going prison, but we don't know until the facts just let come out and play itself out. republicans don't need to be the ones calling for it because the facts themselves in the irs case are so bad you don't even need to politicize it, you just need to give it oxygen and it will mrit size tuesday. republicans, take it easy. if someone is going to jail, they're going there, you don't need to make it worse for the administration than they already are. >> with the weekly address, how distracting have the controversies been to him and his second-term agenda? how long might they persist? >> they're challenging, let's be frank, but this gleefulness coming from the republican party and so less say fare and
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throwing people in prison is absurd. what the president needs to do is get a handle on these three con tro verses and what he needs to do is establish that he is the commander in chief and he will deal with these things. he may want to put this in independent hands and maybe even a point of republican, a fair and balanced republican to look into one or two of these things. he needs to address this as a leader and he needs to address this as the commander in chief and he needs to address this as the head of our government. he doesn't need to politicize this and throwing around comments that people need to go to jail. do something long term to fix it. that's what he needs to do. >> patricia, let's move to the next topic, immigration breakthrough. bipartisan group has reached an agreement at least in principal on reform legislation and we have no details and we are told there are big differences within the senate version there, but with all of the con ro versies going in d.c., do you think the sense immigration reform will get done?
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>> if immigration reform doesn't get done it won't be because of these scandals. immigration reform has the best chance of any piece moving and dechl democrats have their own reason for wanting to pass it and rech rechs have their own reasons of wanting to pass it. republicans want to win similar elections and you can't do it to them coming down the pike. it's important to listen to how several of those house members said and without the details there's no way to know if they have a chance of going forward. this isn't the last step for us, this is the first step and this has been going on for four years. so this is his first step after four years, and that just illustrates how difficult, how complicated, but even still, it is possible because republicans have their own reasons for wanting to do it. >> okay. which patricia makes a point, morris that this would be a huge victory for the president if it gets past, but he's not the one running again and you talk about
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republicans needing this legislation and d somee like senator marco rubio walk away being the biggest winner here? >> the biggest winner will be the hispanic community and america because weir a country of immigrants and we have to figure out everyone needs to get this done, republicans and democrats. barack obama needs this from a legacy standpoint. other politician, both republicans and democrats need this to continue to get elected. the republican party appears to need it more, i would say, listen, democrats need it just as much as republicans, we have hispanic people we need to make sure have a right to citizenship here. >> i want to ask the republican here, cot republicans focus on controversy, susan? could that stand in the way of immigration reform becoming a rate i something that they need? >> i think what's interesting, you have have all of these members of congress looking for the camera to talk about the controversy and trying to make a lot of play out of that and then you have serious lawmakers who actually want to see this going forward and perhaps under the cover, instead of darkness, big,
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shiny tv cameras, other members' faces, they can get a lot done behind the scenes without having all the pressure of every step and every word taken, you know, a certain way that could blow it up, just keep going along while most members are focused on the controversies. >> sit tight. the last honest broker in washington. who is it? it is in the big three's best and worst, next. with the spark miles card from capital one, bjorn earns unlimited rewards for his small business. take these bags to room 12 please. [ garth ] bjorn's small business earns double miles
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we are back with the big three for their best and worst of the week, susan, i will begin with you what is your best and worst? >> the best is actually congress because they now have someone to go after around the american people are focused on the irs mess instead of the fact that they are not getting anything done in washington. so, that works to their advantage, sadly enough. and the worst week is the president. president obama having these three scandals merge in one week has been absolutely horrible for him. he wants to move on on an economy policy, which isn't
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gonna go anywhere right now and when morris says he has to start demonstrating leadership, the president is supposed to demonstrate -- always supposed to have leadership and he has given that back a little and he really needs to start demonstrating it. >> okay. morris, your picks for best and worst? >> i certainly believe the president showing leadership. i didn't question his leadership but i do believe the white house is having a challenging week, to put it politely. they need to right the ship. they need to address these problems. he needs to show he is in command of his staff and command of the government. i think he is up to the task. the best week to me was the gas exporting that the president green lighted this week showing leadership, susan this is $1 billion per project. this is going to create lots and lots of jobs, get the focus back on, good things on the economy, like creating jobs and exsporting terrific. >> hopefully he knew about and didn't have to read about it in the newspaper. >> sure he knew about it since toad make the decision to give
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the green light on the project. so i'm sure he knew about it. >> how but, patricia? best and worst week? >> my best week is for russell george, a little known, now pretty well known inspector general at the irs. >> the honest broker in washington? >> my last honest broker in washington. yes, it is. great report. non-partisan. diligent. just got the facts. the facts were terrible for the administration. but this man just didn't care. he went up to the hill and gave great testimony. very respected in washington. did a great job on that report. my worst week in washington, obviously, is the president. it's because his agenda -- so much of his agenda is having government solutions to people's problems and this week, the government was the problem for him u i think that is going to hurt him every step of the way for his administration. >> all three calling out the president and/or the white house, one in the same. tough week overall. everyone can agree on that good to see you. i appreciate it. that is a wrap of "weekends with
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alex witt." i will see you right back here tomorrow at noon eastern. up next, craig melvin, in the chair there, my friend? yes you are. >> let's do it! let's do it! >> have a great day. don't change the dial. twenty-five thousand mornings, give or take, is all we humans get. we spend them on treadmills. we spend them in traffic. and if we get lucky, really lucky, it dawns on us to go spend them in a world where a simple
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[ robert ] we created legalzoom to help people start their business and launch their dreams. go to legalzoom.com today and make your business dream a reality. at legalzoom.com we put the law on your side. i'm craig melvin. you are watching msnbc. the ben plaza guy won't go awake the irs targeted conservative groups, it is not clear whether the workers were malicious or lazy, but politically, one thing is for certain, it has been arguably the worst week ever for the obama administration. >> why did you mislead congress and the american people on this? >> mr. chairman, i did not mislead congress nor the american people. i answered the questions as they were asked. >> you didn't mention targeting based on ideology. you didn't mention targeting based on